Health & Wellbeing Magazine asked me for some tips on how to get started being vegan or dabbling in more plant based meals.
The rest of the quotes I gave them are below:
A less drastic but also beneficial approach is to occasionally swap an animal product based meal for a vegan one, reducing the overall amount of animal foods in your diet while still benefiting from consuming them at other times.
Making huge changes can also be complicated so little swaps are a lot easier to implement.
For dairy alternatives, soy is the closest nutritionally, so soy milk and yoghurts can be eaten in the same way you would with dairy. There are lots of vegan cheese on the market now too which can be eaten and cooked with in the same way as dairy cheese.
For super simple meat swaps, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) such as Quorn, tofu, tempeh, and other soy meat substitutes can be used like meat, in stews, stir fries, mince dishes, and you can even get vegan versions of things like fish fingers!
Firm tofu can also be scrambled like eggs or used in a quiche, though it won’t hold together for an omelette.
Another really nutritious and less processed group of foods are legumes such as beans, lentil and chickpeas which are high in both protein and fibre as well as slow release carbs. They’re also really affordable and can be great in casseroles, curries, or salads.
Ideally legumes should be paired with either grains such as whole grain rice, or nuts or seeds, as this way there’s all the ‘amino acids’ in the meal, making it more complete in terms of the protein it delivers.
I personally love meat and fish and won’t be going vegan any time soon but adding more plant based foods into your diet for variety will do everyone, including the planet, some good!